02.03.2024 23:37 h

Diakhaby suffers severe leg injury in Real Madrid draw

Valencia's Guinea defender Mouctar Diakhaby suffered a serious leg injury as his team drew 2-2 with Spanish Liga leaders Real Madrid on Saturday.

Diakhaby, 27, was stretchered off with a minute left of normal time after a collision with Madrid's France defender Aurelien Tchouameni at the Mestalla. Players from both teams were visibly shaken.

The game finished in controversial fashion as Real's players, substitutes and coaches flooded the pitch at full-time after referee Jesus Gil Manzano blew the final whistle seconds before Jude Bellingham thought he had claimed a 99th-minute winner.

Madrid's second draw in three league games leaves the 35-time Spanish champions seven points clear of second-placed Girona, who head to lowly Mallorca on Sunday.

The hosts led 2-0 after just half an hour as striker Hugo Duro and Roman Yaremchuk deservedly put Valencia in the lead.

Real's reaction came five minutes into first half injury time with Vinicius Junior's first goal.

The Brazil attacker then equalised with 14 minutes to play.

The game marked his return to a ground, where he was racially abused last season.

Madrid pushed forward for a winner as Diakhaby attempted to clear but his right leg was trapped under Tchouameniin the 89th minute.

After the incident, the referee added seven minutes of injury time. Almost two further minutes had been played when England's Bellingham thought he had claimed three points.

Referee Manzano refused the allow the goal as he had blown the whistle during Brahim Diaz's would-be assist.

The field quickly filled with players from both teams as Madrid were infuriated by a decision that gives Girona a chance to cut the deficit to four points on Sunday.

Earlier, a reshuffled Real Sociedad went down to a fourth defeat in their last five matches with a 3-2 loss to Sevilla ahead of their Champions League second leg against Paris Saint-Germain.

This second consecutive setback in La Liga plunges the Basques into doubt just three days before they host PSG hoping to turn round a 2-0 first-leg deficit.

The Basques were undone by Moroccan striker Youssef En-Nesyri, who bagged a brace in two minutes early in the game before Sergio Ramos got the third on 65 minutes.

An Andre Silva penalty deep into first-half injury time gave the visitors hope but Brais Mendez's consolation in the second minute of added time was not enough.

Third-placed Barcelona coach Xavi said on Saturday it was now the "moment of truth" for his side who are on a roll of four league wins in five with an away match at Athletic Bilbao in La Liga and a Champions League return game at home to Napoli.